Longest railway tunnel in the Balkans to be built on Sofia – Plovdiv line
Bulgaria’s National Railway Infrastructure Company (NRIC) has signed a contract worth more than 498.8 million leva, excluding VAT, with a consortium for the modernisation of the Elin Pelin-Vakarel railway line, between Sofia and Plovdiv.
The NRIC said in a statement that the section between Elin Pelin and Vakarel would be the most difficult to implement of all the line between Sofia and Plovdiv.
About 20km long, it is to include what will be the longest railway tunnel in Bulgaria and the Balkans, 6.8km long.
Such a facility has not been built in Bulgaria since the 1950s, when in the period 1949-1951 the Koznitsa tunnel was built, linking Stara Planina and the Sredna Gora mountain.
As part of the project, a new railway station will be built at Elin Pelin and a railway halt at Pobit Kamuk.
The scope of the project includes a new contact network and new systems and facilities for external power supply and external lighting of the station areas. The numerous other items include road overpasses and underpasses, eight bridges, drainage facilities, new signaling and telecommunication systems at the stations and between them, and the construction of new video surveillance systems and passenger information systems.
The contractor is Dzhen-Duy Railway Elin Pelin, and it includes the Turkish companies Duygu Muhendislik Insaat and Cengiz.
The implementation period is 72 months (six years).
The construction of the Elin Pelin-Kostenets railway line, part of the project “Modernization of the Sofia-Plovdiv railway line”, is being co-financed by the Cohesion Fund through the Operational Program “Transport and Transport Infrastructure” 2014-2020, the NRIC said.
(Photo: Eiji Miura)